Turkish Immigrant Families in the US: Parenting, Parent-Adolescent Relationships and Adolescent Wellbeing
Nisanci, Azize Aslihan
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the way living as immigrants influenced parenting practices and the family environment and to understand how these two factors affected adolescent well-being in Turkish immigrant families. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 mothers, one father, and 13 (7 male, 6 female) adolescents in 14 Turkish families in and around the Chicago area. Critical acculturation psychology and ecological perspective guided the design of the study and constructivist grounded theory guided the analysis. The following research questions were explored: (1) How does the immigration experience influence parenting practices, parent-adolescent relationships and the family environment for Turkish immigrant families in the U.S.? (2) How do parent-adolescent relationships and family environments affect Turkish adolescents’ well-being? Parent and adolescent perspectives were presented with respect to the two research questions. Parents identified several factors influencing their parenting practices, their parenting related concerns, and the strategies they used to balance their parenting related concerns. Adolescents participants provided their views on how they thought being immigrants influenced their parents’ parenting practices and what it meant to have Turkish immigrant parents with respect to their well-being. Parents’ cultural and religious choices, academic expectations, parental monitoring, financial instability, and transnational ties were identified to influence adolescent well-being both in positive and negative ways. In addition, an overall analysis of the participant families displayed commonalities and differences with regard to the ways their cultural and religious perceptions and parent-adolescent relationship dynamics shaped their experiences. Implications for social work practice, policy, research, and education were discussed.
SubjectTurkish immigrants, parenting, adolescent well-being